Cyber Safety: Avoiding student loan scams

Cyber Safety: Avoiding student loan scams

October is Cybersecurity Month, and ABC57 Investigative Reporter Kevin Warmhold is digging into how users are vulnerable to cyber attacks, and what to do to avoid them. 

With student loan payments ramping back up this month, many are learning for the first time how to repay them. This, Warmhold said, is the perfect opportunity for scammers to take advantage of borrowers. 

When it comes to what to look out for to avoid being scammed, Warmhold offers the following "red flags" to be aware of:

  • Scammers will ask for personal information like Social Security numbers. They could also ask for federal student aid IDs to see if "you're eligible for something like loan forgiveness."
  • Scam calls often come from 833 and 314 area codes or have a caller ID that says, "Student Loan Center" or "Education Department."
  • When scammers call, they often use aggressive advertising language, saying things like "act immediately to qualify for student loan forgiveness before the program is discontinued."

As borrowers make their first payments, be sure to adhere to the following:

  • Never make payments to a third party.
  • Go directly to your loan servicer's website. 
  • Never pay money for a free government program. Scammers will offer free funds in exchange for your information (and any calls resembling this are likely a scam). 

Stay with ABC57 News as we offer more cyber safety tips throughout the month of October. 

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